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by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca Memory and the Past Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. (1.1)

This is a pretty famous first line. When we reach the end of Rebecca's last chapter, we realize that the first time she has the dream of going back to Manderley is actually on her way back to Manderley, right before she sees that it's on fire. We get the feeling she has this dream, or variations of it, over and over.

Quote #2

We can never go back again, that much is certain. The past is still too close to us. (2.1)

First, we are led to believe they can't go back to Manderley because it's been destroyed. This line suggests that it has even more to do with their strong memories of what happened there. Manderley can always be rebuilt, right? Notice that she says the can never go back in the first sentence; the second sentence suggests there might be a time in the future when the past is far enough away.

Quote #3

Of course we have our moments of depression; but there are other moments too, when time, unmeasured by the clock, runs on into eternity and, catching his smile, I know we are together, we march in unison, no clash of thought or of opinion makes a barrier between us. (2.4)

Mrs. de Winter's best moments, moments she feels truly united with Maxim, have an eternal quality; these moments transcend the constructs of time and presumably are stronger than her memories of the past.

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